Anti-discrimination Law in N.Y. State Extended to Public Places

Places of public accommodation throughout the state of New York will be prohibited, after July 1st, from publishing or circulating discriminatory advertising, notices and communications and will violate the state anti-discrimination law if they deny service to any person because of race, religion or national origin.

In a letter to places such as hotels, restaurants, bars, barber and beauty shops, skating rinks, swimming pools, theatres and resorts, the State Commission Against Discrimination pointed out that the law, which already applies to employment, had been amended by the legislature to include “places of public accommodation, resort or amusement.” The letter invited owners to submit advertising matter to the commission for review.

The commission, as in cases of employment discrimination, will investigate a complaint and, if cause is found, try to settle the case by conciliation. If this fails, there will be a public hearing and, if necessary, a “cease and desist” order. If the order is ignored court action will follow. The penalty for violation of the law is a fine of not more than $500 or not over a year’s imprisonment or both.

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